This was supposed to be a uniformly positive, upbeat post. We've all been really quite upbeat lately with what has been going on with Hallie and I've been meaning to post for several days now but have been crazy busy and not able to sit down and write (and deal with converting a couple of recent movies we took into MP4 format).
Anyway, let's start with the really good stuff:
For the first time, ever, on Tuesday morning, Hallie said 'Mama'! Sharon was getting ready to leave for work and Ami had Hallie on the changing table and was changing her diaper. Hallie flipped over and stood up (as she is wont to do--this is one of those things we find bone-chillingly frightening), tried to reach over Ami to Sharon, and said "mama". Sharon had been trying to get her to say "bye-bye" (Hallie still just waves), but this was a pretty great substitute. Sharon called me just as I was getting off the train to Lancaster to give me the wonderful news.
So, of course, we tried several times to get her to say it on Tuesday night so that we could document the event. The only thing that worked (and that still works) is getting Hallie upset. Fortunately, our DVD player complied quite nicely with this request. Hallie had been bopping with Elmo to the "Bump-Bump Baby Bump" segment of one of the Sesame Beginnings videos we own when the frame paused mid-bump. For those of you out there interested in scientific experiments, let me just say that we've proven that sweet potato chicken splashed into a DVD player on numerous occasions is pretty much guaranteed to break it. Anyway, we got this video, which ends with one nice "mama" and a few classic whines. Forgive the real-life camera work.
Other than the DVD player dying a slow, painful death, we had a pretty good week until today. Hallie is teething--she appears to be getting 6 to 8 teeth right now and they are in various stages of popping through and so she is pretty miserable (and sleepless, as are all members of her family), but she's being a pretty good sport about things. Her vomiting is still way down (we've had 11 out of 22 days in February that have been totally vomit-free), and while her appetite has been off yesterday and today, it's been pretty good otherwise, and she's really been enjoying her Coach Farm drinkable goat yogurt. She has also been having a ton of fun with Karina, whom she has seen every night this week. We got the following cute video of the girls the other night: Karina shows off her penchant for hamming it up for the camera, and Hallie demonstrates her skills as a motorist and a climber. I, once again, demonstrate why I am not a gaffer, a best boy, a key grip, or a Foley artist:
So, other than the fact that we are all delirious because of teething (I really was up until 4am with Hallie, whose teeth were killing her, and then co-slept with a very fitful toddler until 8:30 this morning), things have been going quite well. So, where's the problem?
The problem was with Hallie's weight check today. We were in for our monthly Synagis shot and plopped her on the scale as usual. And we were SHOCKED. Hallie had lost about 13 ounces since February 6th---which amounts to close to an ounce a day. While it is true that we had backed off on the added calories and had first taken away the Karo syrup from her bottle and then decreased and finally removed the extra goat milk powder, we did not expect this kind of loss---just a leveling off of her weight. We had been joking that our girl was getting chubby, when indeed she had been wasting away. This threw us for a loop and sent us panicking. So, the Karo and the extra powder have now been added back into the formula and we are back to sleep-feeding her that final, huge 8 ounce bottle at bedtime. We are slated for another weight check and appointment with our pediatrician in two weeks. So much for not having to be back in his office until August!
This all shocked us, and made us realize, more broadly, how little Hallie is able to eat in a day. She is so dependent on her formula for calories, protein, and most of the good stuff that goes into her diet. Other than her goat milk formula, the kid eats about 2.5-3 jars of baby food a day, another few ounces of goat milk yogurt, a few ounces of homemade fruit puree, maybe a cheerio or five and a small cluster of Veggie Booty and some juice laced with Miralax. That's not much at all and we have been unable to increase the volume. This is clearly a problem and I wish that, one day, it would just go away on its own, but until then, we apparently have to micromanage Hallie's intake. This is sad, because we've been getting so much more relaxed about things and have clearly learned our lesson. I also suspect that some of the decreased vomiting is related to fewer calories in the bottle, and it's hard to admit that you'd prefer vomiting to weight loss, but this is all too true. Talk about a rock and a hard place (or at least a messy place).
So, in addition to feeling exhausted, I am (and Sharon is) a bit dejected. We are hoping that once the teeth are in, Hallie's appetite will improve and that, if she can gain back some of this lost weight---she has never lost weight before, other than the time last April/May when she was doing very poorly---we can begin to work on things like getting her to eat solids. We're hoping that this turns out to be just another one of those one-steps-back-to-take-two-steps-forward kind of a thing, but either way, this really put a damper on the week.